Deborah Williams reflects on the CDN’s achievements over the past year and looks at what’s next on the agenda
The Creative Diversity Network’s role is to bring together organisations across the UK television industry to promote, celebrate and share good practice. Our members comprise BAFTA, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5/ Viacom, Creative Skillset, Pact, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.
Together, we seek to engage and empower the industry to drive change, and understand the business case for wider representation and inclusion. The CDN is responsible for coordinating the delivery of Diamond – the industry-wide diversity monitoring system for UK bro adcasting.
Diamond is a groundbreaking project: as far as we know, no other broadcasting industry in the world has developed a cross-industry approach where competing us to answer two key questions – ‘who’s on TV? and ‘who makes TV?’ – with greater confidence and precision than ever before. TV needs diversity at its very core to reflect society, enhance creativity and increase the world-class programming produced in the UK.
Diamond went live in August 2016. This month, we received the first data sets. We are currently carrying out an initial analysis and hope to be able to share the findings, and our thinking on what they might mean for the industry, later this summer.
In due course, we aim to publish regular reports so the industry can be completely transparent about what Diamond tells us. But Diamond is the end of the production line.
The supply chain has many entry points and one of the key things is ensuring the net is cast as wide as it can be. With this in mind, CDN commissioned a diversity database in 2016.
Our second Commissioner Programme is now six months old and we are pleased to say that all of the major broadcasters have at least one commissioner in their midst, covering many genres, including drama.
We are building and supporting a cohort of commissioners who will be taking over the jobs of the people they are working for at the moment. That’s development and growth. Later this year, we will announce our next string of projects. We will also be looking at how to manage and reimagine the CDN pledge and the awards, and will work closely with the Diamond broadcasters to explore what the most appropriate interventions should be, using the data available to us.
I am glad to have been able to deliver to completion projects that were started by the previous team at the CDN and look forward to working with broadcasters, producers, agencies and others across the industry to really drive through long-lasting change. broadcasters collect and publish diversity data together.
Diamond’s ambition is to provide detailed, consistent and comprehensive monitoring and reporting of diversity levels in UK broadcasting. Over time, and with the right levels of engagement and commitment, Diamond will allow